The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty is one of the best kinds of books to read but one of the worst to review. It’s hard to tell the story without spoilers and it’s told by several women whose stories intertwine to a harrowing ending.
Cecilia is the uber-organized super-mom of her parish. She has three daughters, a handsome husband, and a thriving Tupperware business. Lately though, John-Paul has been distracted and a bit odd. Add to that her blossoming pre-teen daughter, her Berlin-wall obsessed daughter, and her youngest daughter who’s developed a crush on the new PE teacher at school and Cecilia’s life is BUSY and perfect. With perfection being the goal.
Tess’s husband and her cousin have just confessed that they’ve fallen in love. Tess takes her son and flies home to be with her mother who’s just broken her ankle. No sooner is she home than she runs into her ex-boyfriend Connor.
Rachel’s daughter was killed violently thirty years ago. The case remains unsolved and Rachel is haunted by wonderings of what would Janie’s life be like if she were still alive. She’s also convinced that Connor knows more about Janie’s death than he told the police. He’s now teaching PE at the school where she’s a part-time secretary so avoiding him is difficult.
I loved this book. The changing points of view of the various female characters was a bit jarring, and more than once I had to stop and remember who someone was and put the chapter in context. Even Janie has a few pages to talk to the reader. Those are small quibbles compared to the wonderful story and characters Moriarty gave us.
All the stories weave together and come to what feels like an inevitable and life-shattering climax. The final chapter is a lovely touch and made me ask some of my own, “What if …?” questions.